Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
Navy/Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Pat Morrissey
When a sailor from USS Shiloh (CG-67) went missing last summer, presumably lost overboard in the Pacific, only to be found a week later hiding out in the ship’s machinery spaces, some readers could be forgiven for wondering what was going on in that command.
Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joshua Fulton
It’s been a rough year the Navy’s 7th fleet, marred by four major surface mishaps for the Pacific-based armada — two of which cost the lives of 17 sailors. Now, the branch is scrambling to address the root causes of the fleet’s startling accident rate.
7th Fleet, the U.S. Navy’s Pacific forward deployed naval force, has burned itself out; the cost of this burnout is poor readiness, loss of ships and equipment, and most importantly, sailors’ lives. Since January, four significant ship mishaps have occurred in the 7th’s area of responsibility (AOR), including fatal collisions with merchant ships for the USS Fitzgerald and the USS John S. McCain. Those two incidents killed 17 sailors — significantly more than the number of U.S. service numbers lost in the Afghanistan war zone so far in 2017. This summer has been a watershed moment for the 7th Fleet family.
The Navy’s top admiral in charge of surface forces is retiring early, and two major 7th Fleet commanders have been fired, part of the service’s latest efforts to clean house after a string of serious shipboard mishaps that have left 17 sailors dead this year, according to news reports.